Madeline specializes in social media

strategy, advertising, and photography. 

She is based in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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MADELINE MCGEE

 

Madeline is a advertising strategist, writer, and photographer based in Little Rock, Arkansas. She loves learning a client's vision and building their brand with creative content while working towards tremendous results. Madeline is available for freelance work and travel.   Read More...

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Decluttering, the Key to Decorating

When you make your space, decorating and decluttering go hand in hand. In previous posts, I've talked about the importance of having a space that describes and inspires you day to day. While this does include keeping things of value to you, today we're tackling the clutter. If you don't have a place you're happy with already, or if you just have some tweaking to do, I'm going to help you get started.

Organization Goals

  • keep the essentials accessible

  • know what to throw out

  • stash away what you don't use often but decide to keep

  • storage should be spacious and stackable

STEP 1: Learn that Less is More

I'm starting off my post with this point, because it has been one of the hardest for me to put into practice. This step takes getting into a new mindset. Learn to look around your space with a different perspective or there's no way you're really going to declutter.

"Go your own pace with some good jams, get in your zone."

Chose a day where you have no plans and are willing to focus and dedicate a lot to this project. Go your own pace and get some good jams going as you get in your zone. You'll get a lot more done and not feel discouraged when the job's not even .

"Where do I start?"

Take it slow, just one space at a time. Once you pick one room to focus on, tackle just one "section" of the room at a time. Try to chose a manageable, smaller sized space to start with so you can stay motivated and then move to your next "section". Feel free to take as many mental breaks as nessacar! Though making your space can be stressful at times, it's always when I have the most fun! In my room this summer when I decluttered, I tackled my desk first- starting with the dreaded drawers UGH.

"Take it one space at a time."

It's surprising to find just how much stuff I've collected over 20 years. While rummaging through my desk, I found a box full of erasers. I'm thinking, "Why do I still have these?" I think I had been holding onto some since the elementary school book fair days. I threw out all of the erasers, minus a chunky one I use for sketching.

If you have boxes or baskets of stuff, take it slow, one box at a time. If you dump all of it at once in a massive pile, you're more likely to find yourself overwhelmed or discouraged. You'll be left with an unfinished project months later, and that's no fun.

Make Sorted Piles

I always make four piles: keep, trash, store, and donate. Keeping designated piles keeps the peace in my room even when it's in chaos. So how do you know which pile your items go in? This brings me to the next step.

STEP 2: Knowing when to throw it away...

When throwing items out, you may be telling yourself, "I forgot about this, I'll use it this week". Sorry to break it to you, but if that 'thing' has been sitting in the dusty back corner of your closet for over a few months, it's never going to serve a true purpose. Here are the questions to ask yourself when decluttering...

When have I last used this?

How long have I had this?

Does (insert item name) serve a day to day purpose?

Would I even notice if this item was gone?

Am I keeping this because, "I might eventually need this"?

If your answers to these questions justify you keeping it, great! If not, throw it out! If you even hesitate when answering these questions, you probably shouldn't keep it. Reevaluate your decisions a month or so later when you still haven't used the items you swore you would use next week.

STEP 4: White Space = More Space

When I designed this blog I had 'white space' in mind. It keeps it open, clean, and is visually appealing. You can't tire of white with some pops of color unlike memorable patterns that start off cute and look worse every day.

"Keep it open, clean, and visually appealing."

The same goes for your home. Don't have things jammed and crammed together. Have space between your furniture and give your eyes a break as you look around your space. It goes back to Step 1, less is more. You'll enjoy an open space where you can appreciate each item in the room more than one where there's just too much to look at.

This step also applies to items that you don't use often but need to keep for certain occasions like holidays, camping, or other reasons. Theses things go in storage. Storage can be super cute. I bought these bins from The Container Store years ago.

Storage should be two things: spacious and stackable! When I get my first home and have the space and money for them, suitcases stacked high on the wall will be my storage space. You can see my pin below from my Pinterest, these suitcases are large enough to store holiday decor or papers, decorate my space, and will save me a trip to the attic.

STEP 5: What to do with my "Stuff"

Now that you're looking at your pile of junk, some things are going to be going through your mind... "That was a bunch of wasted money," "Oh wait! I will use this (but not really though)", or "Maybe I could keep just this one thing..."

You can still get your money's worth out of your junk, here's how...

Online Facebook Garage Sale

I've made at least $20 an item selling on the Bryant Garage Page on Facebook. There's different ones for Sherwood, Saline County, Bryant, Little Rock, the list goes on and on... I'm surprised at what people will buy that I viewed as junk, and other times I can't believe no one wants to buy my sweater from Anthropologie. I've sold a six year old stereo, Lifeproof case, and swim suit top. Some people want to buy, some want to trade. You see a bit of everything on this page so don't be afraid to post even the oddest of ends.

Good-Ol Garage Sale

Pile up all your stuff with your family, your friends, your whatever, and make a good chunk of change! Just be sure to advertise! Post about it on your FB profile and garage sale pages, put signs up around the neighborhood, it costs to put it in the paper now.

Sale to Re-sale

You can get at least partial profit if you sell your items to Plato's Closet, Key Elements, or other consignment shops. If you don't have luck taking things into Plato's, come in at a different time the next week to see another worker. Mostly it depends on who's at the front.

Give it to Goodwill

If none of the above works, give it to Goodwill or Savers! I'm in thrifter heaven when I go into these stores and find stuff people just didn't make the effort to try to sell. I'll be posting a blog on some of my "Funky Finds" from thrifting soon.

Hopefully this will help you get a start to your summer organizing! Check out previous posts for other design tips.

Until next time!

Madeline